Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Kingdom Hearts Primer - Chain of Memories - Episode 3 - This Room Looks Familiar

This game is just filler.

One thing that we point out in this episode is just how strange the script sounds when delivered by these voice actors.

I don't fault the actors themselves, or even the voice direction. The actual performances aren't bad at all. When you hear them in other games, with better scripts, it's even easier to take notice. But this script just doesn't read very well.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Hitman (2016) - Episode 23 - A Simple Hit

Today, we undertake a new Elusive Target: "The Identity Thief"

With all the Elusive Targets, I have noticed that a very large percentage of them take place in the Paris map. To a degree, that makes a lot of sense. Paris is the first map they released, and it comes with the Intro Pack, which otherwise only includes the tutorial. This means that if all a player purchased was the intro pack, then they still have a chance to wet their feet with a Elusive Target or two before they drop money on the rest of the experience.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Kingdom Hearts Primer - Chain of Memories - Episode 2 - Darkness. Darkness. DARKNESS!

Today, we rediscover how much filler is in this goddamn game.

Since we don't have much to say regarding the events of the story, I'm going to instead talk about why I personally don't care that AtRiley didn't include any of the individual world's storylines.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Kingdom Hearts Primer - Chain of Memories - Episode 1 - Visiting Oblivion

Welcome back to the Kingdom Hearts Primer. This time, we've moved on to Chain of Memories.

Thanks again to AtRiley for allowing us to use his cut for our purposes.

There's not much to say about the overall story yet, because even in a story that's largely build-up to Kingdom Hearts 2, most of the first half of Chain of Memories is just build-up to the plot twists in the second half.

Also, Sam and I apologize for even suggesting the Kingdom Hearts drinking game. We love you guys, and we would very much like for you to not die of blood alcohol poisoning.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Hitman (2016) - Episode 22 - Eluded Target

If the title of this episode has you confused, my attempt at "The Fixer" was... less than ideal.

I'll be honest with you, I was really bummed that I bungled that mission at the end.

But in hindsight, it's good that I was able to capture that on camera, to demonstrate the true finality of these Elusive Targets. Because of my failure, I will never be able to succeed at "The Fixer", even though I know exactly what I did wrong and how I can correct my mistake if I could have a second chance.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Hitman (2016) - Episode 21 - My First Mistake

Today, we take another look at Elusive Targets with "The Fixer".

The tricky part of an Elusive Target is that players can restart as many time as they want until they complete an objective.

IO allows players to restart because they want to offer them the opportunity to scout out the area and how the Elusive Target interacts with the otherwise established NPCs and routines. If they make a mistake during the approach, or if they learn some new information that gives them a new possible approach, they can even go back to the planning stages to account for it.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Kingdom Hearts Primer - Chain Of Memories - Trailer

Welcome to the next installment of our Kingdom Hearts Primer. This time, we cover the game that begat many of the concepts that confuse the hell out of people trying to get into Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories.

We hope you look forward to this as much as we look forward to presenting it, with the aid of our video source: AtRiley.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Hitman (2016) - Episode 20 - The Plot Thickens

And now, we end our little escapade in Colorado.

The story of Hitman has always been a precarious position. As a series, Hitman has always been gameplay first. While a story exists, and there is a canon for the series, it has never been an important part of the series.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Hitman (2016) - Episode 19 - Face Off

Starring John Travolta and Nick Cage...

To elaborate on a point I was making in the middle of this episode regarding the online nature of this game.

When players launch Hitman (2016), the game will immediately attempt to connect with I/Os servers. If the game fails to connect, then the player can still continue to play the game, but in "Offline Mode".

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Hitman (2016) - Episode 18 - Intel Gathering

Welcome to Colorado, one of the most interesting missions in the game.

In hindsight, after taking this footage and playing Colorado many times afterward, the most striking thing about it is just how small the level actually is.

I talked a bit in this episode about how the episodic model can, in some unexpected ways, hamper the level design. Because new story missions have to be large enough to justify the month or so wait between episodes, and have enough content to tide players over until another episode is released, they tend to be fairly large.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Hitman (2016) - Episode 17 - Fully Escalated

Today, we finish our discussion on Escalation Contracts and the "stack" of Hitman.

Last time, I talked about how Escalations help Hitman players improve their improvisational skills and ability to adapt to new conditions on old missions.

Each level of an escalation adds a new condition, which could be anything from a new target to a level change, or even something as simple as forcing players to hide the bodies. No matter what this condition is though, it must build on top of the old map and the old objectives.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Hitman (2016) - Episode 16 - Non-Death Failure

And now, we get to talk a bit about Escalations in Hitman.

Continuing from where I left off last time...

In his article about the success of Hitman, Kirk Hamilton posits that Escalations help players master small subsections of a given map, and he's not wrong. However, I would add that they add a more important tool to the repertoire of the Hitman player.

That is: They add the element of improvisation and planning to Hitman.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Hitman (2016) - Episode 15 - Contractual Obligations

Today, we explore the contracts mode in Hitman.

I got the idea for making both this and the Escalation contract episodes (yes, plural) after reading an opinion piece from Kirk Hamilton on Kotaku. In the piece, he talks about the what I have come to call the "stack" of Hitman, which I also eluded to in my episodes on Elusive Targets. Hamilton and I agree on the overall layout of the stack but not necessarily what every piece of it does.